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Screen Machine is back on the road – and on its way to the Highlands

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For some of the country’s most isolated film fans it has been a long wait.

But Britain’s only full-time, self-contained mobile cinema is to return to the road this week after suspending screenings six months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Screen Machine will be an even more exclusive experience with only a quarter of its normal capacity because of social distancing requirements.

The cinema shows blockbusters to some of the remotest audiences in the country and is returning with Tenet.

Also lined up is Hope Gap and Trolls World Tour.

The cinema tours the Highlands, Inner and Outer Hebrides and Northern Isles.

Now its curtain will go up again, starting in Tighnabruaich on Friday, followed by Lochgilphead, Port Ellen and Jura over the rest of the month.

However, the capacity has been reduced to just 20 people, who will have to wear facemasks, bring no food or drink – other than a small bottle of water – adhere to a one-way system, leave row by row, and used hand sanitisers on entry and exit.

Fiona Fowler, marketing officer of Screen Machine, said there were hopes that the capacity could be increased to 32 if the rules that apply to English cinemas are later applied to Scotland.

She added: “It is great to be back – we are delighted but it is a changed situation with the two metres distancing. We will have up to three screenings a day but there will be more time between screenings to allow for cleaning. The seats are also being sold in ten pairs to maintain social distancing.

“We have had a deep clean and have bought a fogging machine to help too. We hope people will come and support us and still enjoy the experience.”

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